Saturday, September 13, 2008

Dangerous Legal Decision

Regardless of where you stand on global warming or climate change, the news this week out of Great Britain is disturbing. Six Greenpeace activists were charged with causing property damage to a coal fired power plant in Kent, England. They were cleared of the charges by the jury.

The activists used the "Lawful excuse" defense under the Criminal Defense Act of 1971. That law states that a "lawful excuse" exists if damaged caused by an action can be shown to prevent greater damage, as in breaking down a door to try to keep a fire from burning the whole house down. Their "lawful excuse" was that by causing damage to the coal fired power plant, they were trying to prevent the greater damage of global warming.

There is still considerable debate (unless you are Al Gore) in the scientific community on how much of climate change is man made, and how much is natural weather cycles. In fact, you can find a lot of arguments against man made global warming at

There is a huge difference between vandalizing a legitimate business involved in a legal activity, and breaking down a door to fight a fire. It is too bad that a jury in Great Britain isn't intelligent enough to know the difference. My bigger fear is that we here in the states might eventually make the same boneheaded decisions.

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